HIGHBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) -- Nearly three dozen alleged members of the RPT organization have been charged several indictments with various charges including conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced a 65-count indictment Tuesday related to multiple shootings in and around the River Park Towers complex in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx.
Another indictment charges seven of the defendants with attempted murder and other charges for an incident on August 17, 2020, in which they allegedly fired approximately 11 shots into a building vestibule, and barely missed the head of one of the targets.
A third indictment is for an incident in a Rikers Island jail on April 25, 2021, when members of the RPT organization and their allies allegedly committed a gang assault on a member of the Crips.
They are also charged with an animal cruelty misdemeanor after authorities say they livestreamed a pigeon that flew into the area and likened the bird to a Crip who wandered into their neighborhood.
"If we get 100, we'll kill it," one defendant said on the live stream.
Authorities say they reached that number and beat the pigeon to death with a cane on Facebook live.
According to the investigation, around the time of the shootings, members would brag about their acts of violence and their easy access to firearms in their music videos while taunting members of the opposition.
They also allegedly utilized various social media platforms to recruit and gain a following and would not only taunt rival groups and display firearms on social media, but commit shocking acts on social media for views.
"These defendants allegedly engaged in gun violence, committing six shootings, one which injured a rival gang member," Clark said. "They allegedly fired wildly on the streets without regard for the lives of anyone else. They allegedly possessed a gun used in shootings that they posed with on social media and rapped about the violence. I thank the NYPD for their partnership in this investigation. We are doing all we can to battle the gun scourge, but more must be done to deviate young people from a life of gangs and senseless violence. I am calling on rappers from the Bronx to stop using music to encourage shootings and use it to better the community. I am asking to have a summit with aspiring rappers and the rap stars who come from the Bronx, record companies, radio stations and social media so we can find solutions to prevent further violence."
The defendants were identified as:
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